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Trump Administration Discussed the Possibility of Nuclear Test

Trump Administration Discussed the Possibility of Nuclear Test, Report Claims

WASHINGTON – The report emerged as the US expressed a willingness to include China in the New START treaty and hopes to enter into “good faith” negotiations with Russia to discuss the establishment of a new arms control regime.
According to The Washington Post, the Trump administration considered the prospect of carrying out the nation’s first nuclear test since 1992, by lifting a decades-old moratorium on such actions, citing anonymous official sources familiar with the matter. The discussion was reportedly held at a meeting of senior officials from various national security agencies on May 15 and followed allegations of Russia and China violating the so-called “zero yield” standard of either low-yield or underground testing, which is not only something that both countries refuted but is also not backed by any credible facts.
One of the aforementioned sources of administration indicated that the change could be useful in negotiating a trilateral agreement to control the arsenals of the three nations, possibly referring to a proposal being promoted by Washington of China to enter a revised version of the New START treaty to expire in February 2021.
The first moves towards resuming nuclear testing in the US were taken in 2017, according to a Time magazine writer. At the time, an unidentified official of the National Nuclear Security Agency told the writer that nuclear tests could be carried out for “political purposes.”
The reported meeting did not conclude by a source, quoted by The Washington Post, with an agreement on the possibility of conducting a nuclear test, with another source saying that a decision was “finally made” to take other measures in response to alleged “threats posed by Russia and China” and to avoid a resumption of the test.
Some experts worry that such a move could send a poor signal to countries such as North Korea and cast doubt on the need to stick to the nuclear test moratorium.
“It would be an invitation to follow suit for other nuclear-armed countries. It would be the starting weapon for an unprecedented nuclear arms race. You would also disrupt negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who may no longer feel compelled to honor his nuclear test moratorium,” Daryl Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association, told The Washington Post.
When the expiry date for the New START Treaty (February 2021) closing in, Russia has consistently called on the White House to prolong the deal without preconditions. But the US has insisted China should also be part of the treaty.
US Special Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea said on Friday that the country is seeking to create a new arms control regime that would include Russia and China, claiming that it is “the best way to avoid an unpredictable three-way arms race.”
On the same day, US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien commenting on the possibility that the US will not expand the New START treaty, said he doubted that Washington will take such a measure, adding that the US intends to enter into negotiations with Russia in “good faith.”
In response, Moscow expressed its willingness to participate in talks, noting that any deal should be verifiable and that the road to such a deal “is open” if the US wishes so.
However, China has declined to enter into any trilateral agreement with Russia and the US, insisting that it is Moscow’s and Washington’s duty to fulfill their obligations to the number of nuclear weapons in the world.
The Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) signed by the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom in 1963 forbade nuclear tests. Any 123 other states are a member of the treaty since then. In 1974, a supplementary agreement was signed between the USSR and the US curbing underground nuclear tests.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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